John 5:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 5:23, NIV: "that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him."

John 5:23, ESV: "that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him."

John 5:23, KJV: "That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him."

John 5:23, NASB: "so that all will honor the Son just as they honor the Father. The one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him."

John 5:23, NLT: "so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent him."

John 5:23, CSB: "so that all people may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him."

What does John 5:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus makes an extremely important point here. This relates not only to salvation, but also to the idea of who Christ is and how He relates to God. In prior verses, Jesus has been pointing out how He is equal to God in various ways. These include having the same works (John 5:19), love (John 5:20), and judgment (John 5:22). Jesus has also claimed authority over life and death (John 5:21).

In this verse, Jesus makes a point which ties these other points together. Namely, that God expects the Son—Jesus—to be given honor, just as God is to be given honor. This makes sense, given all of the other qualities Jesus possesses. If Jesus really does have the power, love, judgment, and authority of God, then He deserves the same honor and respect as God. Because, of course, this means that Jesus actually is God.

This is also a crucial verse for our understanding of salvation. If Jesus is God, and is owed the same honor as God, then a person cannot reject the Son—Jesus Christ—and claim to be right with the Father. This matches other claims where Jesus plainly states that He is the one and only way to be reconciled with God (John 3:16, 36; 14:6). Calling Jesus only one of many ways to God is to dishonor Him, by calling Him a liar. Downgrading Him to something less than divine, or to merely a "good teacher" also dishonors Him. In short, those who reject the divinity of Christ are rejecting God Himself.

The next verse emphasizes this claim with the familiar phrase, "truly, truly," or "verily, verily."